Sensitivity to rewarding or aversive effects of methamphetamine determines methamphetamine intake

S. Shabani, C. S. Mckinnon, C. Reed, Christopher Cunningham, T. J. Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Amphetamines have rewarding and aversive effects. Relative sensitivity to these effects may be a better predictor of vulnerability to addiction than sensitivity to one of these effects alone. We tested this hypothesis in a dose-response study in a second replicate set of mouse lines selectively bred for high vs. low methamphetamine (MA) drinking (MADR). Replicate 2 high (MAHDR-2) and low (MALDR-2) MA drinking mice were bred based on MA consumption in a two-bottle choice procedure and examined for novel tastant drinking. Sensitivities to the rewarding and aversive effects of several doses of MA (0.5, 2 and 4 mg/kg) were measured using a place conditioning procedure. After conditioning, mice were tested in a drug-free and then drug-present state for time spent in the saline- and MA-paired contexts. Similar to the first set of MADR lines, by the end of selection, MAHDR-2 mice consumed about 6 mg MA/kg/18 h, compared to nearly no MA in MALDR-2 mice, but had similar taste preference ratios. MAHDR-2 mice exhibited place preference in both the drug-free and drug-present tests, and no significant place aversion. In contrast, MALDR-2 mice exhibited no place preference or aversion during the drug-free test, but robust place aversion in the drug-present test. These data extend our preliminary findings from the first set of MADR lines and support the hypothesis that the combination of greater sensitivity to the rewarding effects of MA and insensitivity to the aversive effects of MA is genetically associated with heightened risk for MA consumption. Genes, Brain and Behavior

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)625-636
Number of pages12
JournalGenes, Brain and Behavior
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2011


  • Aversion
  • CPA
  • CPP
  • Drug abuse
  • Methamphetamine consumption
  • Reward
  • Selective breeding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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